I was poking around on You Tube and happened to stumble across a new music video by a local band, Pigeon Park. ~ If it’s no interuption to your Facebook schedule, I’d like you all to take a secodn to check it out, and see if you agree with me on this. So, follow this link, check out the song & vid, and take a moment to read the rest of this post…
The production in this video opened my eyes to something that I think is constantly going over looked in the music industry these days; simplicity. That’s not to say that the presentation, editing, and production behind the video wasn’t complex, when I say “simple” I mean jsut that; without anything unnecessarily difficult subtracting from the actual purpose of the video; the delivery of the song. The art and craft is here by the tenfold, only without the need for excessive flashy studio effects, no random visual storylines that have nothing to do with the song that do nothing but distract from the music, and no cheesy stadium crowd stock footage like I’ve seen in some of the videos that have come out of this city (wont name names, lol). I’m sure you can agree, the video is fun, visually entertaining, and most importantly, it fits the music!
What Pigeon Park has done in this video is exactly what you’ll see them do if you were to catch them at a local venue in town; (I know because I had the opportunity to share a bill with them early last year) - they focused on the music. They didn’t get up there in front of the camera and fool around for 5 minutes, but instead, they presented their music to the audience the way they want it to be heard; alive. Same can be said about their music video as their live performance. Pigeon Park know what they’re doing.
No gimmicks, no cheese, just pure rock & roll to the soul. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but is that not what it’s supposed to be about?
Anyway, if you dug the video, drop by their page and give them some personal feedback - I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.
After a cab ride that involved a few too many unecessary turns, I was finally approaching the doors of the Railway. I lit a smoke, spoke to a few people that were hanging outside, asked who they were here to see, and got wide range of answers from between the four bands that were scheduled to play.
One thing I found out right off the bat was that the scheduled opening act “The Party on High Street” weren’t able to attend due to a friend of the bands’ being involved in a horrible accident which had resulted in a broken neck. The band did what any good High Street Partiers would have done in such a situation; the took a night away from the party to go and console their friend - or, who knows, they may have brought the party to him! Either way, they did the right thing!
That being said, one less band can only mean one thing; the other three bands get to extend their sets and rock out a little longer.
As I finished my smoke, nodded to the group of people I’d just met, opened the door and made my way up the stairs I was immediately struck with one thought; “Hey! I know that song! That’s Danny Echo!” as I heard “Dont Drive My Heart” slowly come to it’s trash can ending.
Stepping inside I caught glimpse of a familiar face, bought a beer, said hello to a few comrades, then found my way near the stage so I could get a view of what was happening.
I found a spot, took a swig of my Dos Equis, and then Danny began their third song of the night, “Down To The Letter”, (a song written “for soccer moms” and the like) that kicked off with a funky bass and drum combo, the chorus lyrics “Down, down, down”, and a crunch-rock guitar that then kicked the rest of the song into Drive. The lyrics toyed with plastic-suburban-housewife cliches, referencing “cylicone pride”, “botox injection”, and, my favorite line, the songs pre-chorus; “You’re so whatever, down to the letter”. It was a fun song, an easy crowd pleaser, but, even more so that that, a perfect introduction to what they were about to incorporate into the set as they played “Tomorrow Today”… BUBBLES!
No matter how cooooooooool you think you are, you’re never too cool for some good ol’ fashion bubble popping fun, and that was proven yesterday as the boys released the soapy delights into the air during their hit song, reminding everybody what means to just live in the moment. Pop some damn bubbles! Forget about tomorrow!
Throughout the rest of the set they played a few familiar tunes, including “One Of A Million”, as well as a D-Echo rendition of a popular song produced by Jay Z that… forgive me…I missed the name of! If you’re interested though, get in touch with Danny and the boys, I’m sure they know what it’s called!
Altogether, the boys played some solid tunes, kept the people moving on the floor, and did not skip a beat when it came to working in all the microphone swinging that he’s become known for, the jokes and blurbs in between songs to avoid the “static”, and the good fun that comes along with it all. For me, a Danny Echo shows represents all that is Party Rocking… without ever having the need for any LMFAO. That being said, with that much energy and movement, the boys would definitely have more room to breathe on a bigger stage, more room to jump around and swing the mic, but that didn’t stop them from being able to offer some good times to the people in the room!
During the band transition I took the opportunity to jump outside and have a smoke. I grabbed a quick slice of pizza, chowed down, and started speaking with a group of people before heading upstairs as I heard the music begin.
I got inside just as Gold Stars Are For Suckers were wrapping up their first song and welcoming the bar to join them on the floor for some good old fashioned dancing. Without skipping a beat the floor began to fill. I quickly moved locations so as not to get in the way of all the grooving bodies, and found a place to sit down where I’d be able to listen and observe.
By the start of the third song (Flickershow, I believe), the boys had a nice little treat in store for the rest of the room; during the pause between songs they welcomed a Go-Go like dancer to join them on stage to encourage the rest of the room to engage in all the swooning and spooning. It didn’t take long for the sex appeal of it all to kick in; half way through the song the floor filled up and the band received the drive they were looking for!
Their style of music ranged throughout the night, and while I wasn’t able to catch their entire set (I wanted to avoid another cab fare by jumping on the train before it closed), I was able to see enough to know that GSAFS put on a good show.
The band consists of members who have been in the Vancouver Music Scene for most of their “adult” lives, they know how to maintain a fun crowd, their music was hard hitting and to the point, the songs were well crafted, and most important of all, they were having fun - the kind of fun that spreads through a room and urges you to buy another drink!
Before leaving I said hello to a couple of the guys in the closing band, Mouthful Of Daisy, gave my condolences to be passed on to The Party On High Street, finished my last drink of the night and made my way to the train.
Altogether, it was another fun night at the Railway Club. I’ll be playing a set at the Libra Room next Saturday, otherwise I know where’d be! On Friday though, if you’re not doing anything preordained, drop by my favourite little spot on Dunsmuir @ Seymour and join me for a drink as we enjoy the kick off to the weekend!
As I went out Saturday night I had two plans in mind; One was to check out Whiskey Dix (formerlly known as the Columbia Bar) in Gastown, a venue where I’ve been catching word of some groovy 30:LIVE shows, and the other was to drop by the Railway - Whether it’s the live music, the friendly atmosphere, the moving train above your head or the fact that there’s a 7-Eleven outside, something about the Railway always guarantees for a good night! Especially on a weekend!
Anyway, I arrived at Whiskey Dix just in time to catch the last half of Jesse & The Dandelions’ set, and the first half of Community Trees.
From what I could gather from the songs I caught, Jesse & The Dandelions (a 3-piece who were making a stop during their tour before heading back home to Lethbridge, Alberta) had a combined force that complimented each others elements nicely. Their sound was slightly reminiscent of Death Cab meets City and Color, but their take on the genre was purely of their own craft. The lyrics were well put together, the songs were fluint and well played, and most importantly, the band seemed to be having a great time, even despite the last 6 days that they’ve spent cramped together in a van making stops through out the West Coast — a feat that is often hard to accomplish without getting on each others nerves!
Altogether Jesse & the D’s left a good impression for the crowd at Whiskey Dix, and I’m sure if we see them back this way on a regular enough basis, they won’t have a hard time drawing a crowd. I would have liked to have heard a few contrasting songs, but again, I showed up late so I really can’t account for the first half of the night!
Next up was Community Trees. These guys caught my attention as soon as i saw them walk onto the stage with painted faces, a trombone, a sea shell (yes, a sea shell! One of the big ones that we all listened to the ocean through as kids), and an assortment of pedals, synthesizer effects, and… well, did I mention that they had painted faces and a sea shell ? !
Anyway, as the band finished setting up and began their first song, I noticed the floor beginning to fill. I quickly stood up from my chair to snag a spot on the floor, took camp next to a cute little brunette, smiled and said hi, then reminded myself that I was here for the music! Music! (Oh…I admit…I guess I was sort of there for the $4 drinks as well, but if I’d began the path of drinks and beautiful ladies, well… my night would have led somewhere completely off topic for this review..)
Anyway…. so the music kicked off and right away came the blare of the sea shell! “Awesome” I said to myself. “Awesome”. The horn was beautifully placed amongst the layered vocals and trombone, really lending a light, airy, presence among the room that couldn’t help but remind you of an early autumn day at the beach; the wind rustling, fog horns blowing, ocean waves caressing the rock-bank… it felt like music to accompany a day of reflection for Summer’s gone…
My first impression of Whiskey Dix was a definitely a good one. The cheap drinks were great, the “I Love Dix” & “Getchur Whiskey Dix On” shirts made for a good smirk, and, to top it off, I really enjoyed what I managed to catch of Community Trees’ & Jesse & The Dandelions’ set. I would have loved to have been able to catch the earlier (or later) section of the night to see ‘My Dearest Friends’ play, but alas, it was reaching 10:30 and I was starting to feel that Railway-itch coming on! Something either within my phone or in my head was telling me that the Danny Echo, Mouthful of Daisy, and Gold Stars are for Suckers show was going to make for a fun night at the club!
Check back in a bit, I’ll have some details & opinions in case you couldn’t make it!
Who knew Ryan Gosling was a singer/songwriter also !
Dead Man’s Bones ~ ‘Lose Your Soul’
Aaaaagh. Sooooo bummed that I can’t check out THE GROWLERS (LA) / FREE CITY COLLECTIVE (03.03.12) at the Biltmore next Saturday. I forgot I had a booking at the Libra Room. :(
Now I wouldn’t usually say this (considering I’m playing that same night), but if you’re not doing anything on the 3rd, GO CHECK OUT THE GROWLERS ! ! !
Grab your tickets online @ http://thegrowlers.eventbrite.com/
Last night I dragged my heals down to the Roxy to check out a couple of Vancouver’s finest local rock groups in action. I arrived just as Amusia was kicking off their set, and let me say, this is a band that are aware of their talents, know how to utitilize their strengths, and put on one kick ass show in the process of doing what they love!
They started things off by playing a few songs from their debut album ‘Time Will Tell’ - which was actually just released only a week and a half ago at the Cellar Nightclub in Vancouver - , songs like ‘Crossfire’ , ‘Pyre’ , ‘Breathe Easy’ , and the bands first single ‘Time Will Tell’ were delivered with precision and passion, shifting between rock anthems and sweetly sung ballads, each presented in a way that left the audience feeling as though they had just shared in the experience of a rock show that would have been best fit for some of the larger venues in the city.
There is no doubt in my mind that with a little more time this band will go on to rock the stage at the Venue, blast through your speakers on the Fox, and even sooner than that, nestle their way into that part of your brain that finds you humming songs and RT-ing their tweets, all because you feel you’ve witnessed something that deserves attention.
Along with the songs from the bands album, Amusia played a surprisingly unique take of their rendition of Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’, followed by a few originals that aren’t on the album, but definitely deserve to be recorded!
All in all, this band has got what it takes to hit the big stage - however it’s up to people like YOU to help nurture that success by doing what you can to assist in the process by attending shows, spreading the word, and most of all, sharing the love of their music that I’m certain any musician and music fan alike will experience after witnessing this band in action.
Also on the bill last night was Sonic Outcast, a hard rocking, heavy hitting local band that resides in Port Moody, BC. The bands set was comprised of all original material from their upcoming album which they have just finished production for at Armoury & Fader Mountain Studios, produced by the ‘Prince of the Canadian Music Industry’, ‘GGGarth’ Richardson.
When I asked the boys how things were sounding, their answer was simple and to the point; “Well, it’s being produced by Garth” said Mischa Abalakov, the bands second guitarist. “The man owns a recording school and has been living and breathing music production since he was a boy… you can only imagine how great everything sounds!”
Their set was comprised of a unique blend of Alternative Rock reminiscent to the early days of the Seattle Grunge scene; a perfect mix of crunch rhythm & lead guitar, heavy bass, powerful vocals and hard hitting drums, joined in unison to create what is the epitome of their sound, as well as the title of their upcoming first single release ‘Acid Theatre’.
During their set each member had the opportunity to shine within their element.
At one point, during their last song, the bands singer/songwriter Jonny Della Vera jumped off the stage, encouraging the audience to join him on the floor as he danced throughout the song. As the floor started to pack and the song continued, he was then joined by his brother, Jordan, also a guitarist for the band, and the two danced with their friends and fans in sheer enjoyment of doing what they love, loving what they do, and reaping the rewards of the efforts that they’ve all put into their craft.
To sum things up for last night, both bands put on one hell of a show, and, the best part of all is that you don’t have to take my word for it; both sets were filmed using multi camera and the footage will soon be available through each of the bands online social network hubs so that you too can experience the effect of what was Sonic Outcast & Amusia at the Roxy!
I’m glad to have been able to catch last nights show - it’s just another great example of why I continue my faith in Vancouver’s Independent Music Scene!
This is Gabriel Savage…out.
1.We never truly grow up, we simply learn how to act in public. That being said, there are far too many people out there who have forgotten how to act naturally and are left making the rest of us seem immature.
2. It doesn’t matter how long or how well you live, when the time comes where you find out you’re going to die the only real thought that will cross your mind is off all the other ways you could have been spending your time for the last five years.
3. Life is too short to dance with fat chicks. Meaning if you want something, go for it, don’t settle for less. There’ll always be that guy who’s comfortable with whatever cards he’s dealt… but that doesn’t mean he’d wouldn’t rather have the oppotunity to bet on a good hand. He’s just got a better poker face than the rest of us.
The believe that the entire Star Wars legacy was created in order for there to be room in the world for this joke. Well, this and the bro/sis relationship. ~ No doubts about it!
There are advantages you get living in the Greater Vancouver Area that you really couldn’t get living anywhere else in Canada;
First and foremost, the scenery; the great pines, the lakes, hiking trails, mountains, Hotsprings, glaciers, and of course, all the hills that make up our beautiful terrain. Nowhere else in Canada will you be able to find city streets with as many dips and turns, bridges, and as much water coverage.
Plus, you’re only ever a 40-min drive from escaping the city and diving into the woods for some getaway time!
We’ve also got the most efficient transit system in the country; Three eco-friendly Skytrain lines that run through almost every major sector of the Lower Mainland, accompanied by Seabuses, Ferry’s, and of course all the transit buses that help make Vancouver one of the top Green Cities in the world. ~ Not to mention the number of future lines and expansions that they’ve got in the works for the next 10 years!
And last but not certainly not least, our Marijuana Laws. That’s right, we’ve got Marc Emery, CCHQ, the Vapour Lounge, the 420 gatherings at the Art Gallery that take place nearly 3 times a year, and, this goes without even needing to be said, the BC Bud!
But what is it that makes Vancouver truly different than, say… Toronto or Montreal? It’s not the rain, the terrain, the green smoke, or even the mountain air… it’s our demographic! Simply put, it’s because our population consists of so many youth, so many young people still blossoming, that we can’t help but have our city portray who we are. And the best part about knowing that is knowing that as long as we continue to reproduce on such a consistent basis, our majority should never change!
I know what you’re thinking; with all these colorful traits there has got to be a downside, right? I mean it’s not often that you get to hear a list of compliments without at least one hairy ‘but’ getting in the way…
Yep. Bingo. You said it; there’s a but, alright! Many butts indeed! Each belonging to the “bums” that are attached to them! *Pardon the pun!
According to a 2008 statistic through Vancouver Green Capital, the homeless rate in Vancouver was 1,576 people. A 16% increase since 2006!
Now, take into effect all the events that have taken place since 2008; the Olympics, the Stanley Cup Riot, Occupy Vancouver, to say the least… with all these viral community events our city has seen, we have most definitely seen a jump in our population statistics, which will also make for an increase in the homeless rate, by at least another 32-40% if we can base it on the information from the VGC.
But what does this mean to us as the simple city-folk? How does Vancouver’s homeless situation effect your daily life? How about the youth running the scene?
And, last but not least, is our public transit system enough of a reason to accept the other misfortunes (rain, min-wage, unemployment/homeless rate, etc) swallow the shame, and continue the routine of the grind?
How about you, Vancouver? What’s your opinion on the different sides to this city?